Shannen Doherty – Charmed
You remember Charmed, the show about three magical sisters which was a bit like Buffy but not. One of the stars, Shannen Doherty, was killed off in the season three finale, the result of catty goings-on behind the scenes. Rumours spread of a huge on-going feud between Shannen Doherty and her co-star Alyssa Milano, and Doherty herself poured petrol on the flames saying “There was too much drama on the set and not enough passion for the work.” Years later, Milano clearly hadn’t forgotten how bad things had got, recalling that “we were on the air with her for three years and there were definitely some rough days.” We assume “some” is showbiz-speak for “a staggering number of”.
Columbus Short – Scandal
Playing Harrison Wright in Scandal, Columbus Short was a fan favourite in this glossy political saga. So it was rather sad all round when he was axed, particularly because of the ugly circumstances. This wasn’t about comical backstage bickering – Short had been in trouble with the law over allegations of domestic violence and for getting into a barroom fight, and he’d also opened up about drug problems. That’s why he saw it coming, saying
“ABC justifiably want to distance themselves. They did the right thing.”
Charlie Sheen – Two And A Half Men
Charlie Sheen wasn’t just booted from Two And A Half Men – he went out in a blaze of lunatic glory, lashing out at the show’s producers and treating the media to fantastically bonkers interviews in which he proclaimed he was on a drug called Charlie Sheen. “If you try it once, you will die,” he promised. “Your face will melt off, and your children will weep over your exploded body.” Eventually sacked for “moral turpitude” (ie, being a massively debauched crazy guy), Sheen had no regrets about giving up his on-screen character’s wardrobe, saying “I never have to put on those silly shirts for as long as this warlock exists in the terrestrial dimension.”
Patrick Dempsey – Grey’s Anatomy
Was Patrick Dempsey fired from Grey's Anatomy? The gossip-mongers haven’t quite agreed on the point, though one thing beyond contention is that fans were flabber-flippin’-gasted when his character, Derek “McDreamy” Shepherd was abruptly killed off in a road accident. The show’s resident hunk, its veritable poster boy, slain before our eyes! There have been some rumours that suggested Dempsey had an “inappropriate” fling with a young woman on set, while others claim show creator Shonda Rhimes got sick of Dempsey’s “diva-like” behaviour and inability to remember his lines.
Katherine Heigl – Grey’s Anatomy
Another medical emergency in Grey’s Anatomy, this time involving the departure of Izzie Stevens, the doctor played by Katherine Heigl. It had already been messy between Heigl and the show producers, after she had pulled out of the Emmy awards saying she didn’t deserve to win because her scripts weren’t good enough. Grey’s Anatomy writers were understandably miffed by this very public rebuke, and – following alleged arguments about her salary, as well as her film career taking off – she eventually left the world’s sexiest hospital for good.
David Caruso – NYPD Blue
We now think of David Caruso as the guy with the shades and cheesily brilliant one-liners in CSI: Miami, but back in the mid-90s he became an industry hate figure after bailing out of his breakthrough series, NYPD Blue. Engorged with a sense of his own brilliance, Caruso demanded a giant pay hike ($100,000 according to reports) and eventually ditched TV to become a movie star. The makers of NYPD Blue were flooded with letters from angry fans, Caruso became an object of ridicule after his movies flopped, and it was only years later that the CSI franchise gave him a shot at telly redemption.
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